Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour to share my book review of The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. The New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet librarian who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper.
Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born out of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world.
Where are we Touring to?
For Kate Quinn’s latest novel the author takes us on a journey through Ukraine as well as to The White House in the USA.
Before I share my book review of The Diamond Eye, here’s the background to this amazing story.
Book Cover Notes
She’s the war’s most lethal sniper. And the one they least expect…
In the snowbound city of Kiev, aspiring historian Mila Pavlichenko’s life revolves around her young son – until Hitler’s invasion of Russia changes everything. Suddenly, she and her friends must take up arms to save their country from the Fuhrer’s destruction.
Handed a rifle, Mila discovers a gift – and months of blood, sweat and tears turn the young woman into a deadly sniper: the most lethal hunter of Nazis.
Yet success is bittersweet. Mila is torn from the battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America while the war still rages. There, she finds an unexpected ally in First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and an unexpected promise of a different future.
But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a terrifying new foe, she finds herself in the deadliest duel of her life.
The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.
I love books that educate as well as entertain and The Diamond Eye certainly does both. Like most, I had not heard of the library researcher turned Russian sniper Luydmila Pavlichenko and her incredible contribution to the war effort.
Throughout this astonishing story, we follow Mila Pavlichenko a young mother, booklover and introvert whose ambition was to become an historian. Living in Odessa in the Ukraine, one day she is writing her dissertation and hanging out with friends at the beach. The next day her world is turned upside down by the declaration of war, her country is being invaded and she doesn’t hesitate to enlist to fight for her son’s future.
I’m not normally a fan of war films or war stories, so my husband was quite surprised when I decided to join this book review tour. What drew me to this particular story was my fascination in how, ‘For the love of Lenin’, was a friendship forged between a Russian WWII female sniper and the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt of the USA? That couldn’t possibly be right, could it? Well it turns out it could…
Kate Quinn has a compelling writing style that will appeal to many. The author’s extensive research on the real life story of Mila is evident throughout the book. The incredible facts, taken from Mila’s own memoirs, have been expertly weaved into this captivating fictional story.
My husband also read this book and we both agreed, had Mila been of a different nationality we’re sure she’d be the subject of a Hollywood movie staring Jennifer Lawrence! Neither of us have read a Kate Quinn novel before but we intend to catch up on reading the authors previous books. Starting with The Rose Code, which has been added to the top of our ‘To Be Read (TBR)’ list.
Alongside Mila there are several likeable characters that add drama and interest to this story. Fearless, strong woman such as:
- Lena the medic who patches Mila up several times and sends her back out to fight
- Vika the Russian Bolshoi ballerina turned war time tank driver
- Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and wife of President Roosevelt
As well as these powerful and intriguing woman, I really enjoyed reading about Kostia, Mila’s sniper partner. Kostia was my favourite character, he was always at Mila’s side, he had her back on every night time hunt. Alexei on the other hand was a very annoying character. Selfish, arrogant and just wouldn’t quit popping back into Mila’s life, no matter how many times she tried to push him away.
Reader Tip: Once you’ve read The Diamond Eye, don’t miss the author notes at the end of the book. Kate shares fascinating insights into how she discovered Lyudmila (Mila) Pavlichenko and her astonishing story.
For fans of historical fiction novels, especially those based on a true story, The Diamond Eye will have you gripped from page one. Highly recommended reading.
If you’re already a fan of Kate Quinn then you’ll definitely enjoy her latest historical novel. Go grab yourself a copy right now 🙂
Where To Buy
Further book info
- Publication date: 31 March 2022
- Publisher: Harper Collins
- Page count: 448
About The Author
Kate Quinn is a native of southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice.
A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia.
Where To Find Kate Online
Blog Tour Organised by
Random Things Tours
Many thanks to Anne @randomttours for inviting me on the book blog tour for The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. Thanks also to the author and Harper Collins for my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Kate’s Other Books
Don’t forget to check out Kate’s other books when you download or order The Diamond Eye:
1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.
Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.
On the icy edge of Soviet Russia, bold and reckless Nina Markova joins the infamous Night Witches – an all-female bomber regiment.
Two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
You Might Also Like
Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed my book review of The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. You might also like these books based on a true story:
- Peach Blossom Spring – Melissa Fu
- The Dressmaker’s Secret – Lorna Cook
- The Women In The White Kimono – Ana Johns
Or for more reading inspiration , check out these pages:
- Books By Destination – explore the world through books
- Travel books – from memoirs, to travel guides and anthologies
- Fiction – historical fiction, thrillers and more
Subscribe to Newsletter
Sign up for my monthly newsletter. A round-up of travel articles, book reviews, author interviews and more.